JEWS around the world gather every year to celebrate Purim with an all-day party.
But what is the holiday – known as the Jewish Mardi-Gras – all about?
A group of Orthodox Jewish boys visit local businessmen to collect money for their school[/caption]
What is Purim?
Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrating the saving of the Jews from ancient royal adviser Haman.
He planned to massacre the Jewish people in the Achaemenid Empire in the Middle East.
His plans were foiled by Mordecai and his cousin and adopted daughter Esther, who had risen to become Queen of Persia.
According to the book of Esther in the Jewish bible the Torah, the day of deliverance should be celebrated as a day of feasting.
It reads: “That they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor”.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men walk in the street in Jerusalem[/caption]
How do Jews celebrate Purim?
Purim is celebrated with an exchange of gifts among friends and family as well as giving donations to the poor.
People gather for a huge feast known as known as a se’udat Purim and there are public readings of the Scroll of Esther.
Other customs include drinking wine and wearing masks and costumes.
People dress up in costumes to celebrate the holy festival[/caption]
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When is Purim celebrated?
Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar.
This year that fell on March 20, 2019, beginning at sunset and carrying on until nightfall on March 21.
In the following year, 2020, Purim will fall on March 9 to March 10.